Monday, April 19, 2010

Day Trip to Tokyo

We don't go to Tokyo very often. In fact, the last time we were there was in August, when we played tourists at Yasukuni and Asakusa. Why we don't go there much? One, there's no need, and two, I hate the place. It's obnoxious and annoying.

"Gee, Ms. Trouble, you should love it there, then," I hear you say... "obnoxious and annoying is just your thing."

And then there's the Tokyo accent, the melody and intonation that sound like begging yelps of an unhappy chihuahua high on a mixture of Red Bull and acid. Did I say "annoying"? Yes, I did.

There's also plenty of foreigners, everywhere. Foreigners of every color, shape and size. While waiting to cross the street in Shibuya, in 5 minutes I've seen more gaijins than in a year in Utsunomiya (and that's counting our foreign parties every other month AND my foreign coworkers).


And no trip to Shibuya would be complete without saying "hello" to Hachiko

The nice thing about Tokyo is that just about everyone there seems to speak some sort of English, unprompted, just because I'm a gaijin. From the very confused staffer at McDonalds in Akihabara, who insisted on answering us in English, to the old lady on the train, who thanked me in English for giving up my seat for her.

And speaking of old ladies and seats on the train... I've written about it before, and I'm going to write about it every chance I get - Japanese parents are brainless morons. Maybe not all of them, but the great majority - yes.

Don't get me wrong, I love Japan 90% of the time, but when the other 10% gets to me, especially when I'm PMSing (like today), I start to foam at the mouth with righteous anger.

And nothing gets me foaming at the mouth like the assorted nimwits - kids, teens and young people, who comfortably sit on crowded trains while old people and pregnant ladies stand. And those nimwits do their best to ignore those old people and pregnant ladies.

When the parents and teachers of those nimwits get to be old (yes, there's no escaping it, happens to the best of us), maybe then they will realize their mistake.

This is what happened today.

I got up to offer this older lady my seat, she said "thank you" but before she had a chance to sit down, the kid jumped in and claimed the seat for himself. The kid's mother was standing on the other side and did and said nothing. It went on for 7 stops. I took a few pictures of the situation and started to film it. Only then did the mother tell him to get up and then quickly moved to the other end of the car. I guess she was thought I was a perv, filming kids on trains. Whatever. The old lady finally got to sit down. And we got off at Ikebukuro.


  1. Man, I HATE that! When my husband and I went to Disney World, we were on a shuttle going from one park to another and this woman got on and sat down and then sat her things down in the seat next to her. Lots of older folks got on, and being the able bodied young people we are, we quickly got up and offered our seats. The older man refused to take mine, but I definitely offered.
    So still, there's an open seat and there's a woman who just has her stuff on it. So this super old lady gets on and the lady just turns her head. My jaw DROPPED. I started to get up, but the other older guy just walks over to the jerk lady and said, "How about you move your stuff to the floor and quit being so rude. This isn't your bus, share the seats."
    Her face got pale and she moved her stuff REALLY fast.
    It was awesome.

  2. LOL Danielle! That must have been priceless. Actually, I have the same approach to people's bags on seats. I ask them "do you own this bus/train, etc?" and if they say "no", I move their stuff myself, if I have to. :)

  3. Exactly the same thing in Korea! Children, and boys especially for that matter, are taught to feel special, exceptional. They are arrogant, demanding and noisy. I have two Korean nephews, boy and a girl. Both of them wanted me to give them a toy. They boy argued that I must give him one first cuz he is a man...

  4. I don't get that either. People are usually quite polite here.


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